The Challenge of Communication

Have you noticed we’re living in

a new age?

It’s an age of radically different forms of communication. Not just different forms of technology, like internet, wireless, texting, email, but we now have different ways of connecting with one another. The radical difference is that dialogue is now much shorter, more spontaneous and far more general. We talk using acronyms and shorthand, hoping that the recipient knows the same lingo. People now express their thoughts to the whole world by making comments on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a host of other platforms that can be viewed by millions all over the world. This means that we will never know who we are actually talking to or who is reading our comments. Responsive comments to other people’s pictures, and Twitter posts tend to be short, one or two lines frequently never attracting any further response from anyone. But language has also changed. Comments are now far less carefully thought about, frequently being rude, abusive, curt, nasty, and in many cases, unintelligible. In short, all protocols are rapidly disappearing. Grammar is no longer important. Tact and diplomacy are losing ground to an increasing trend to say what we think regardless of how appropriate it might be or whether it is inflammatory, hurtful or even correct. People’s comments are frequently taken out of context, and not given careful consideration before irrational responses are made.

What does this mean for Relationships?

People can now be very easily isolated by their points of view, their personal values, long held principles, or even just their thoughts. It’s reached the point where it’s often safer to say nothing. Consequently, many people are no longer being heard, or able to have their opinions carefully considered. Perhaps for total strangers, that may be less significant. But when it comes to personal relationships, the same thing is happening, and the outcome is far more significant. Counsellors talk every day with couples who are falling apart, most frequently because they have lost their abilities to talk effectively with one another. A frequent response when couples are asked by a counsellor why they are here today, is, “We are not good at communicating”. There’s a lot hidden behind that response. Strange how they could communicate quite effectively when they were going out together, but not now. We wonder what’s changed. We need to learn to reconnect via dialogue. Want to find out how? click here
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